After YSU English Festival hopefuls read the 7 selected books in preparation for the event, they’re ready to begin participating. It’s not even necessary to wait until the day of the Festival to begin entering contests. There are several writing, art and music-related contests students can participate in:
- Candace Gay Memorial Awards: An advance essay prompt is released in advance of the Festival. Students have the opportunity to respond to the prompt and submit it before the February deadline, but must do so without the assistance of anyone else, including teachers.
- Festival Art Contest: Students may create original artwork that represents a book cover of a selected Festival book. Submissions must be submitted in February.
- Jeremy Salvner Memorial Music Award: Students may compose original music inspired by Festival selections. They can be individual or small group submissions and may be instrumental or voice.
Students select tracks in advance of the Festival, indicating which games, workshops and activities they will participate in throughout the day. All students will have the opportunity to hear the selected author speak, Megan Whalen Turner at the 2011 Festival. They will continue throughout the day following their respective tracks, participating in many of the activities listed below. At the conclusion of the day’s events, students will return to the main auditorium in the Kilcawley Center for the awards ceremony where a variety of prizes will be awarded.
Festival Day Games, Contests and Workshops:
Impromptu Writing: Students will attend a timed session where they will be given a prompt involving Festival books. Students are limited to one piece of paper, front and back and may not use notes or books to complete their responses.
Writing Games: These games are a team effort where students are placed in a group and given a task to complete regarding the Festival books. Writing skills and cooperation are a must.
Not-So-Trivial Pursuit: Students are grouped into teams and quizzed on details from Festival book selections.
Poetry, Prose and Journalism Workshops: Students are given the opportunity to participate in activities and exercises to enhance skills and creativity. Journalism workshop participants have the opportunity to interview guest lecturers and write up articles based on the interview.
Performance: Theatrical and musical performances.
Other games and activities vary from year to year. The English Festival is a fun way to engage young readers and writers and experience literature in new ways.